Yale sees improvement in Covid-19 survival rates of those hospitalized, on ventilators


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Yale is out with some positive Covid-19 survival rates of those hospitalized and also those who were on ventilators. Healthcare professionals are trying figure out why the improvement is happening.

Is it better medical care? Or is the virus changing?

Current survival rates for Covid-19 patients in the Yale Health System under the age of 50 are at 98 percent. The highest risk group is not the very elderly.

“Patients over the age of 70 have only a 77 percent survival rate,” said Thomas Balcezak, MD, EVP and Chief Clinical Officer, Yale New Haven Health.

And Yale is announcing progress in how patients that are admitted have improved survival now compared to when virus first hit.

“In March across our health system, had a survival rate of 87.7 percent of all patients admitted,” said Balcezak.

Fast forward to now…

“In September, 98 percent survived to discharge,” said Balcezak. “In the month of September, 100 percent of patients that were intubated and ventilated survived, so we’ve seen a real improvement in survival.”

Experts don’t know the actual cause for the results, and there are many theories. More medical knowledge, perhaps more use of steroids.

“Maybe, just maybe the virus has mutated to a less virulent strain or we’re seeing a less virulent strain in our community,” said Balcezak.

Yale’s Chief Clinical Officer calls the theory speculation but a small ray of light. He stresses it is not a message for people to let their guards down now. The state is seeing it’s largest sustained uptick in hospitalizations since the first week of August.

“I think concern, if it leads to action, is effective and I think the action we all need to take is about redoubling our efforts around social distancing and masking,” said Balcezak.

And Yale is looking ahead, preparing for when a Covid-19 vaccine will be safely approved. Some of the vaccines need be stored at below 100 degrees so they are already busy securing space in freezers in preparation.

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